Yoga Guilt, That Voice

growing flowrs

That voice, oh that voice, it’s been menacing me for months.  It’s always been there, sometimes stronger than other times, but in the past few months it’s been like a snowball gaining speed and size as it careens down a steep mountain.  Finally I couldn’t take it anymore and admitted to Jon that I believed that I got food poisoning and a tooth abscess, all in the past month, because I haven’t gone to my yoga class in a while.

It’s not that I hadn’t been trying to make sense of the voice.   I considered that it was guilt, or superstition or that I was just crazy.  But it seemed to just make too much sense to be anything but the truth.  Until I saw the look on Jon’s face.  (Did he really make that circular movement with his finger by his temple, that universal sign for crazy, or was I just imagining it?) But there was only a moment to question what he was thinking.  Crazy was his opinion, no doubt about it.  I liked his clarity.  Could it be.  If it was true, that my thinking was crazy, what a relief that would be.  That meant I could actually do something about it,  (besides going back to my yoga class out of superstition and guilt) I could change the way I was thinking.

But the voice wasn’t just on my back about yoga guilt.  It was waking me up at night and haunting me at every opportunity.  Maybe it suspected that I was on to it.  That it was losing it’s hold on me so it was preparing for the battle.

All along I was seeing this voice as the adult, the parent, the god in the clouds throwing lightning bolts. But really it was the voice of my unintegrated self.  It was the child in me still living in fear, not knowing that now, I was the adult.  I was the only one who could make decisions for myself.  I was the only one I had to answer to.  I had talked to the child before, visualized her out of damaging situations, but when Jon suggested I talk to her again I knew it was just what I needed to do.  I knew that the child was not integrated with my adult self.  She huddled fearful and alone in the dark, not knowing that the adult was now me. Not a parent, or some other authority figure or some supernatural presence. That we are the same person and now I was in charge of my life.

So the next time I heard the menacing voice that frightened the child, I found her in the dark and held her close to me.  Telling her that it was okay now there was nothing to be afraid of.  That I would take care of her.  Taking her away with me out of the darkness.

And it seems to be working.  Whenever the fear comes up, the one that tells me I’ve done something wrong, I remember I’m the adult, I make the decision about right and wrong and I reassure the child in me of that truth and that there’s nothing to be afraid of.

I wrote before I left on our trip to Vermont for my 50th Birthday, that getting my tattoo would be a rite of passage.  But getting the tattoo was the least of it. What really happened was my becoming clear about and dealing with that voice that has haunted me most of my life.

I’m not saying this all has to do with turning 50, more that having this time to think and talk about it and having the courage to deal with it changed me.  Although I’m not dismissing the idea that turning 50 had something to do with it.  I’ve heard from so many people, mostly women that with the age of 50 comes a confidence and sense of self.  I feel like, in the past three days, I walked though a long threshold and came out the other side a different person.  Closer to the person I want to be.

 

 

12 thoughts on “Yoga Guilt, That Voice

  1. The best of the best I’ve read for quite a while! It’s like you’ve been following a pirate’s treasure map and you found the buried treasure! It’s you!

  2. Wow, very powerful, Maria. I second the vote for this new sense of confidence that comes with this age. I too felt a wave of euphoria entering this decade and realizing that after a lifetime of figuring out what I wanted and doing what I had to do, I now had the freedom/power/wisdom to make this next bit authentically me. It is an intoxicating feeling. Thank you for sharing. Sending blessings ahead of you on your journey…

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this Maria. It’s not always easy to be honest about what’s going on inside of us, much less to get it out into the open, but there’s a strength and a moving forward in that recognition. For me too it was in my fifties that I first began to ‘see’ things I’d never really acknowledged before and found the courage to begin to deal with them. I so appreciate reading about your journey to become your true self.

  4. Hi Maria,
    Happy Birthday. I to just turned 50 this past Dec 27th, and what an strange journey it has been.
    I have dreaded getting older most of my life. But I really don’t know if dread is the correct word. I just NEVER thought I would ever get HERE. I’m not sure what I thought, other then I WAS NOT getting old. Ha!
    I sometimes have been accused of living in a dream world. I guess I have been living in it for quite awhile.

    On the day I turned fifty I awoke crying. I was so sad. (So silly, so ridiculous really) I thought about missed oppurtunities, the fact that I couldn’t have children, my weight, my looks. Oh it was terrible. I was feeling so sorry for myself. My husband, who loves birthdays, and loves me, bent over backwards to make my day special. But I was insistant on feeling sorry for myself. We even went to a book store and he said ‘pick anything you want’ and I didn’t want anything. Not one book. The girl whose house resembles a library. This was bad.

    Then at 5pm I walked through some kind of spiritual door, or a tunnel like you said. It felt like I have been waiting to come to this place my whole life. There was a switch inside my soul. I feel like I can finally speak and sing and dance and be me. That 20, 30 and 40 were nice but now I have gained my true voice. That I finally can create the me I have been longing for. No wait, not create. Let out the me I had created a long time ago. Now she is safe to come out and roar and sing and dance and write and love and be happy with who she is. I think I have always be waiting for the other shoe to drop. It dropped into a bucket of love and light and flowers and all things delicious. What a wonderful adventure it has begun.

    Happy Birthday to both of us. I hope our 50’s are going to be just the journey we have always been longing for.
    Bon Voyage.
    Monika Winters-Sanchez
    Wilmington, North Carolina

  5. What a beautiful post. I am 61 and I think I need to do some integrating too! There is a very fearful child in me who just wants to hide from everyone.

    I wrote it before, but again, I love your quilts, and that you make them from used cloth. There is something so symbolic about making something so beautiful out of fabric that someone else threw away (at least to the Goodwill! The Buddhist have a term for it, Right Livelihood.

    Nancy

  6. Today is my eighth anniversary of when I first fell and initiated the chronic pain condition in my body which exists to this day. The month after I fell, I turned 50. It took me a while to enjoy my 50s (which I am now doing). It is like we are part of an exclusive club that never had a voice acknowledged before, but now we are roaring. May you roar,Maria (or whatever alligators do!)

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